Clipped From The Salina Journal
Mishap / Cause remains unknown FROM PAGE A1 In front of the post's limestone headquarters building, a four-member detail quietly marched to the flag pole and with hushed orders, lowered the flag to half staff. The detail then went to the post cemetery where they repeated the ceremony at the flagpole in the middle of the garden of gravestones. Similar ceremonies were conducted for the flags at the post hospital and Custer Hill parade ground. 'A mission to accomplish' Despite the tragedy, I-'ort Riley troops continued with their duties Friday "We are grieving, but we have a mission to accomplish." Livick said. "Soldiers are still training. We don't close operations but there isn't a soldiei' out there today who hasn't hugged their spouse and children or called a loved one." he added. Livick said the three victims were inside an M-1064 mortar carrier, a type of armored personnel carrier, and the injured soldier was outside tlie veliiclo. He said they were among ;i,500 Fort Riley soldiers at the center for a routine training exercise. There are about 10.000 troops stationed at Fort Riley. "The Army is a family" he said. "We are in a dangerous business and we know the iiain any time we lose a member of oiu'family" The unit was finishing its last day of training as part of a four-week exercise. They left Fort Riley in mid-February and are due hack by mid-April. Livick said that after the ac cident the Army called a halt to using 120mm mortar rounds at the training site as part of standard procedures. Livick said it's too soon to speculate about the cause, but atlded, "There won't be a rock that will be left unturned." Other military units train at Fort Irwin in realistic combat training, a program in operation since I9t!2 at the base 120 miles east of Los .Angeles. Livick said it's the first time since 1998 that a Fort Riley soldier has been killed at the training center.